I haven't posted before, just been a lurker the entire time, so thought I'd share (at length, sorry!) now that I'm done.
I wasn't a complete beginner, so hope no-one feels I'm an imposter! - but I used C25K this time to get back into it after a long break. It took me longer than 9 weeks to complete - between working shifts and having young children, I often only manage 2 runs a week, but I'm happy with that and it's still worked for me.
And what a difference it's been instead of doing my own random thing! It's been motivational, feels good to be following a set structure, and the 'forced' warm up and cool down really do help - I've never bothered with this in the past, and I've always suffered post-run muscle aches - now a thing of the past!
If I have any advice to offer anyone starting the program, it would be:
1. Find a very comfortable way to carry your device while running - I struggled at first, but now use a stretchy lightweight waist pouch, wouldn't even know it's there, no rubbing or bobbing about.
2. Stick with it, it's so rewarding to find yourself getting fitter, well worth the hard work - even if you don't manage 3 runs one week and it ends up taking more than 9 weeks or if you need to repeat some runs - it doesn't matter at all, just keep going, you will get there and it will be great!
3. Definitely do the warm up/cool down walks every time!
I'm really pleased to finish, I'm moving on to a 5 to 10k app, can't wait to get started!
I'm slightly disappointed with my distance though - the last couple of weeks I've used a fitness app and my 30 minutes doesn't quite take me 5k - but hopefully my pace will pick up over time with more training.
All the best and well done to everyone, thanks for sharing all your experiences good and bad, and for the helpful advice aplenty.